Oh. My. Goodness. That was my initial reaction when I saw the schedule the NBA released for the Utah Jazz yesterday. I’m still in shock. This young team is being tested early and often right from the get go. Talk about a welcome to the NBA for the Jazz rookies as well, especially Trey Burke. As fellow staff writer Cody Powers astutely pointed out in our group text message string “In the first 6 games of the season, Trey Burke will go up against Russell Westbrook, Eric Bledsoe, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose and Jeremy Lin. That’s a test.” Yes, yes it is. Trey Burke will know very quickly where he stands among the elite and upper level point guards in the NBA and what he needs to do to improve. It’s an amazing test for not only him but the whole team. We’ll know very quickly what type of leaders Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors are because they’ll have ample opportunities to face adversity. Will this team full of young talent rise to the occasion? That’s the unknown that makes this season so exciting! For a great insider perspective on the schedule go check out David Locke’s Schedule Breakdown. For a nice clean look at the schedule please check out the Utah Jazz website.
3 games against Phoenix
2 games a piece against the Thunder, Bulls, Warriors and Pelicans
1 game against the Nets, Rockets, Celtics, Raptors, Nuggets, Spurs and Mavericks
The Jazz start the season at home but then 5 of the next 6 are on the road which includes a 4 games in a row Eastern road trip. They then play 3 in a row at home before playing another 4 of 5 on the road followed by 2 of their last 3 games for the month at home. Key home games are vs the Thunder, Rockets, Nuggets, Spurs, Warriors and Bulls. The Jazz will find out very quickly where they stand with their Division and Western Conference rivals. What a way to start the season! There are some very winnable games in there with games vs. the Suns, Celtics, Raptors, Pelicans and Mavericks.
2 games each against the Blazers, Kings and Bobcats.
1 game against the Rockets, Pacers, Nuggets, Spurs, Heat, Magic, Hawks, Grizzles, Lakers and Clippers.
December doesn’t get any easier for the Utah Jazz. The games vs the Blazers and Kings are always fun battles to watch. The Jazz start December with 4 of 5 at home before playing 7 of their next 8 on the road. That stretch on the road includes a 5 game Eastern road trip that starts in Miami on December 16th. The Jazz will come back home on Christmas Eve and play the Lakers on the 27th. That game vs the Lakers is the 1st of 2 games at home to end the month with a game at the Clippers in between. Key home games are vs the Rockets, Pacers, Kings, Blazers, Spurs and Lakers. Winnable games during this month are vs. the Bobcats, Magic, Hawks, Kings, Blazers and Lakers.
2 games against the Timberwolves
1 game against the Bucks, Lakers, Thunder, Cavs, Nuggets, Spurs, Pistons, Wizards, Kings and Warriors.
January is looking like a month where the Jazz can gain some momentum and confidence. Only 2 back to backs during the month and not nearly as many games. Key home games vs the Thunder, Cavs, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Kings and Warriors. Winnable games vs the Bucks, Cavs, Timberwolves and Kings. The Jazz also play their first 2 nationally televised games this month, both on ESPN, at San Antonio on January 15th and at home vs Golden State on January 31st. Jazz play 4 of 5 games at home to start the month followed by 3 straight on the road. They end the month by playing 4 in a row at home. 8 of 12 games at home for the month should help put some Ws in the win column.
The Jazz play 1 game each against the Clippers, Raptors, Mavericks, Heat, Lakers, 76ers, Nets, Blazers, Timberwolves, Celtics, Suns and Cavs.
Another month of just 12 games. The first 6 games are Away, Home, Away, Home, Away, Home. Then 4 of the next 6 games are at home, so it’s a little more even. Key home games this month are vs the Heat, Nets, Timberwolves and Celtics. Winnable games are vs the Raptors, Lakers, 76ers, Blazers, Timberwolves, Celtics, Suns and Cavs. It’s a good thing that January and February ease up a bit on the number of games played because things pick right up again in March.
2 games against the Grizzles and Knicks
1 game against the Pacers, Bucks, Wizards, 76ers, Hawks, Mavs, Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, Magic, Pistons, Pelicans and Thunder.
17 games in the month of March. The Jazz start the month with 5 straight games on the road. Those 5 games are actually part of a 6 game Eastern road trip that begins on February 28th at Cleveland. They then play 3 straight at home, 3 straight on the road and 3 straight at home. They end the month playing 2 of 3 on the road. They also have their 3rd nationally televised game on ESPN on March 26th at home vs the Grizzles. Key home games are vs the Mavs, Clippers, Hawks, Pistons, Knicks and Grizzles. Winnable games are vs the Bucks, Wizards, 76ers, Hawks, Mavs, Magic, Pistons and Pelicans.
1 game against the Pelicans, Warriors, Mavs, Blazers, Nuggets, Lakers and Timberwolves.
4 games at home and 3 on the road in the month of April. It will be so interesting to see what the state of the team is at the time of the season. Record, stat leaders, team leaders, we have lots of answers to lots of questions at this point. Key home games are vs the Mavs, Blazers and Lakers. Winnable games are vs the Pelicans, Mavs, Blazers, Lakers and Timberwolves. I am so excited to see how the team has grown at this point and what sort of offseason plans the team will be making.
In my opinion the NBA did the Jazz a huge favor by giving them this schedule. There is no easing this young team into action. The get right to school going up against some of the best teams in the league. This is exactly what this team needs. To be the best you must beat the best. The Jazz are going to learn a lot from this schedule about what it takes to be among the NBA’s elite. When the season is over these players will have learned and grown a lot and will have a greater understanding of what they need to work on in the offseason. Who knows, maybe they will be the surprise of the league this year. What I do know is this season is shaping up to be a great teacher for a young and hungry team that wants to get better. My initial guess on wins and losses? Surprisingly 39-43. I plan on taking a closer look at back to backs at a later date to make a more accurate guess of Wins and Losses. NBA Preseason is only 2 months away and I can’t wait to be watching Utah Jazz basketball once again!
You can check out the 2013-14 NBA schedule from Razorgator and see which games you want to attend this year. Tickets are already available for most games, including the Jazz home opener against the Thunder.